Beauty | Lifestyle | Health

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Monthly Favourites: April

April is my birthday month and the first month of the year that really starts to feel wintery. I've got a few new season bits this month (mostly birthday presents, birthday presents from myself or bought with birthday money (I said birthday too much). Anyway - lets crack on. 

daniel wellington, cellini, samsung, lonely hearts

The first wee birthday present (to: me, love: me) was a Daniel Wellington watch. I'd been eyeing these up on the wrists of various bloggers. I'd fancied a more delicate "ladies" watch with a smaller face and leather strap a while and when I saw a discount code I couldn't really say no, could I? It needs to be on the tightest "rung" to fit my tiny wrists but the face is beautiful, about the same size as my much loved Michael Kors watch. I think leather watches almost improve with age as the leather softens it gains more character. Definitely a lovely piece to have. 

The next favourite was mentioned in a post earlier this month - Tootsi lipstick by Colourpop (you can see swatches here). I'd never really tried brown nudes before but this is such a gorgeous beige/browny nude. It looks a little different on everyone but it's a new favourite of mine. Dark enough that you can go pretty neutral on the eyes if you choose to but still lovely for the evening with a more dramatic look too. The fact that it's matte also means it lasts a good long while especially paired with the lip pencil counterpart of the same name. To give you an idea of how much I love it I've just repurchased another lip pencil and lippie to take with me to the UK. 

daniel wellington, cellini, samsung, lonely hearts

If you've read my "About Me" you'll know I can't resist lacy stuff. Lonely Hearts underwear is the stuff dreams are made of. So comfortable, beautifully made and they make you feel amazing too. Generally I've stayed away from soft cup bras but the extra straps on these and the fit of them is so flattering and comfortable. My boobs have moved in, unpacked and aren't going anywhere. I bought the black and white in the Blair design (with matching underwear of course).

lonely hearts lingerie blair

My final two for the month are my new Cellini hand bag - luxuriously oversized with sturdy straps, a split pocket and plenty of little nooks and crannies to keep mobile phones and lipsticks safe it's amazing. Mum got this for me mainly so I'd have something larger for the plane to the UK - my usual bag is a little too small. This greige toned bag is faux leather but feels beautifully soft and is large enough to fit my travel compendium, a book and my tablet (amongst other hand bag essentials of course).

Last but not least is actually an app - Fotor is a photo editing app, since I've started using it I find it even easier to made my blog photos look more like I've always wanted them to. Great for a beginner it has features that are easy to navigate and can give you some of the effects you can get from a DSLR camera but through editing rather than photography. There's a lot of auto-adjust templates for you to use too and a nifty collage feature which I've used on several occasions.

That's all from me for this month - next monthly favourites will be published from London (eeek!).

Claire x

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Anastasia Brow Round Up

These are the latest additions to my Anastasia brow family - of course you can read about the dip brow if you're interested here. I did an order off Beauty Bay (one of the many presents I bought for myself for my birthday *ahem* nice cover Claire). I love the brow wiz I currently have but wanted it in a slightly darker shade. While I was at it I thought, why not get a few more bits to go with it?

The brow gel I used to use has since dried up/run out (Benefits Gimme Brow for those of you interested) and the Anastasia tube seemed a lot bigger, less expensive and goes on clear. I've used it for a week or so now and I'm very impressed, like the dip brow it has serious lasting power. I can put this on over the brow wiz pencil first thing and they'll still look immaculate even after a day at work and a gym session. It can be a little crunchy if you're too heavy handed but that's something totally down to personal preference and application technique.

The brow wiz as mentioned is already a favourite, the spoolie at one end is great for brushing brows up to the desired shape (which also adds some fullness and thickness to your brow too). The retractable pencil on the other end is great. It's a very fine point, waxy and not overly fragile like a lot of pencils can be.  All round solid product, I think it'll travel well and will probably end up in my carry on when I fly out in a months time.

Finally we have the Pro Pencil. It's a soft, concealer like pencil. it goes on very creamy and is sort of a waxy texture as well. Not sticky at all but great for covering up any brows that are growing out between trips to the beautician. Also acts as a lovely highlighter on the brow bone is you're not a fan of the pearly/shimmery finishes that a lot of highlights come in.

Have you tried any of these?

Claire x

Thursday, 16 April 2015

A Wishlist

I have a few things on my wishlist at the moment - given that I'm leaving the country in about a month I can't really afford to load myself down with more bulk. However duty free shopping is a beautiful thing. Most of these are either bits I'll aim to pick-up after I've gone through customs or when I'm in the UK and can spread out a bit.

Lately I've been trying the Nip+Fab Dragons Blood skincare range (more on that in a future post). After creeping through their website and other skincare ranges I'm rather keen on the Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix range. My skin is still quite breakout prone despite the fact that I'm 23 (what the hell is this delayed puberty?) and the Glycolic Fix range is designed to clear away dead skin, brighten your complexion and clean out your pores. I'm especially interested in the pads, the mask (who doesn't love a good mask?) and the serum. Lets just say once I get to England getting a Boots rewards card will be as high a priority as an Oyster card.

Next on the list is a beautiful perfume I've yet to purchase but have tried in store several times. I already own the EDP extreme version but next on the list is Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb EDP. It's a sweet fragrance with slightly fruitier notes that will be lovely for spring, it has an almost honey like quality on my skin once it's settled. Suffice to say I know what I'll be using my duty free vouchers on...

Another duty free item I'm planning on purchasing is a bottle of Cointreau - it's deliciously refreshing on ice after a long day at work and it pairs with Baileys beautifully as well. If you've not tried it it's an orange flavoured triple-sec, quite strong on the alcohol content but is a very versatile drink to have in your cabinet.

Finally I just found this little beauty on instagram the other day - Bali Body Tanning Oil. Now that I'll be heading back into summer in England (timed that one well didn't I?) I can bring out the summer shorts and fake tan. This sounds like a lovely natural skincare addition and I think it'll be a pay-day purchase next week.

Have you tried any of these?

Claire x

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Autumnal Lips and Tips

It's officially the end of summer here in New Zealand and I must say I'm always excited by autumn. Warm days but cooler nights, I can wear my much loved skinny Levis again and of course the makeup trends get darker along with the weather. I've got a few stunners I love for the cooler months because who doesn't adore dark berry shades?

My personal favourites if I want something a little on the dark side are a bold MAC lip. Vino lip liner stops the lipstick from bleeding (which you especially don't want with darker lip shades). As the name suggests it's a gorgeous wine shade with a burgundy kind of tone - somewhere between a red and a purple. It's absolutely stunning and looks different depending on your skin tone too. I find more olive tones make it look more red whereas when you're a little pasty face like myself the purple tones are more dominant.

I top that off with Darkside by MAC, it's an amplified formulation which is one of my favourite varieties. Super pigmented with a semi-matte finish it complements the Vino liner perfectly. It casts a little red in the photos (I spent an hour and a half on these photos and I still feel like I didn't *quite* capture everything just right) but like the liner it shows differently depending on your skin tone. It's a very deep berry/plum shade on me which is lovely.

To pair with I love Lincoln Park After Dark by OPI, it's been a constant on my nails for several winters now and I don't think it's going away any time soon. It's definitely a purple toned polish but in certain lights looks more black. It's very flattering on shorter nails with a squoval (square/oval) shape.

What are your winter must-have shades?

Claire x

Sunday, 12 April 2015

I'm Moving to London!

I've been waiting to write/publish this post for months now and I'm sitting here just about bouncing off my seat, frothing with excitement. This has been in the back of my mind since late last year and only really came together in the last few months. I had to sort a passport, a visa and book a one way ticket (I think the ticket was the most intimidating thing about the whole ordeal!).

One of my best friends in London just so happened to have a room opening up in her flat in early July. I was intending on going over for a long holiday anyway. After certain events last year and the fact that living in London for longer than a few weeks is too good an opportunity to pass up I decided to move. Expect a lot more personal and lifestyle posts in the coming months - I've got six weeks until I leave (actually less than that now!) and only four and a half weeks left at my current job.

Almost can't believe it's actually happening but once I bought my British pounds and my five year visa came in the post it all fell into place. I'll be seeing a friend I've not seen in two and a half years, I'll be there for the ruby world cup (*cue excited heavy breathing*) and get another summer in. Best ideas I've had really isn't it? Already have my book for the plane sorted (struggling to not read it now...) and a London guide book to get me started.

Just a few of the things I'm looking forward to:

  • Seeing this angel face.
  • Getting a Boots loyalty card (for real I am so excited about Boots). 
  • Visiting the Natural History Museum. 
  • The rugby world cup - live and in the country I'm living in (I feel a trend coming on - might need to follow the world cup around from now on?)
  • Going to the Lush Day Spa - this has been on my bucket list since they opened the first one and now I can finally go. 

Claire x

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

First Impressions: Colourpop Cosmetics

Having read numerous reviews,  viewed swatch videos on YouTube and pouring over the Colourpop website I made myself a list to order for a birthday present to myself. I've been wearing these non stop since they arrived, I've swatched everything and will highlight a few of my favourite shades too. Everything from Colourpop is cruelty free, only $5 USD (except the blushes) and they are all amazingly pigmented. 

I haven't yet tried their blushes and highlighters but will definitely be making another order soon to stock up on my favourite limited edition Spring collection bits. 

colourpop, colourpop cosmetics, colourpop eyeshadows
colourpop eyeshadow, colourpop lala, colourpop game face, colourpop desert
colourpop, colourpop bandit, colourpop mooning, colourpop hustle, colourpop drift

Describing the consistency of these eyeshadows is a little difficult – they’re sort of a cross between a mousse like texture and a MAC paint pot. They’re not sticky to wear at all and feel very light on the skin. I’m not sure why but they don’t seem to really stick to/apply to your lid with brushes that well, though applying with your finger gives amazing colour pay off. They recommend tapping the colour directly onto the lid with your fingertips and I've definitely found this the best way to apply them myself.
I try to concentrate the colour strictly on the lid then blend out towards the crease with a dense brush. The effect is beautiful, they blend a dream and layer up really nicely too if you want to use more than one shade. To do a crease colour I just place colour on the outer corner and use windscreen wiper movements to blend across. To be honest the duo-chrome type colours like mooning mean you could use one colour alone for a smokey eye and look like you've used three. 

In terms of the colours themselves – if you've been following me for a while you’ll know I love colours that compliment blue eyes. Three of the shades are very coppery and gold tones while the other four are red/purple based. It’s hard to pick a favourite but I think Bandit and Desert are the ones I like most. They’re both very wearable day to day and have a beautiful almost pearl finish while still being quite matte and of course look stunning together too. 

The other more intense shades are stunning too – Mooning is indescribable, it’s sort of a black base but with a red and rose gold shimmer through it. I've also found Drift to be a great dupe for Cranberry by MAC and Game Face a dupe for Coppering. 

colourpop lippie stix, colourpop tootsi
colourpop lippie stix, colourpop bossy, swatch
colourpop lippie stix, colourpop bichette, swatch

As for the lipsticks I think I’ve found a new favourite. Tootsi is a part of the Spring collection, I’m not sure if that means it’s limited edition but I’ll definitely be buying a few more very soon to bolster my collection. It’s the most gorgeous mauve/grey/beige nude. I was a bit worried it might wash me out a bit but the first day I wore it I got a lot of compliments at work. It’s a shade that makes you look like you’ve put the effort into your lips without being as ostentatious as one of the reds. The matte finish is very flattering, not drying at all and incredibly long wearing as well. I only needed to touch this one up after lunch and I’d been wearing it for six hours. Definitely recommend getting the matching lip pencil too for longer wear and more intense colour pay off.

Both red shades I bought are great colour pay off as well. Bossy is a very “true” red – neither very blue nor orange toned it sits in the middle of the road. I would use this as more of a day-time red than the Bichette but can definitely transition into night time wear too. I find to get the real colour of this one you do need the lip pencil on underneath otherwise it seemed to cast a bit pink on me.

Bichette on my skin tone I feel is best kept for the evening, it’s a very intense blue-red. It's very eye-catching and almost a little bit vampy red (but then perhaps that's just because I'm so pale). Both Bichette and Bossy are very creamy and pigmented to apply like a dream. Again, both are matte shades and lasted a decent long while and neither bled (I put this down to lip pencil use again). I'm gradually getting myself more used to using bold colours like this, Colourpop is a great way to go as with a five dollar lipstick if you find you rarely wear it, you haven't lost a lot of money. However that said I've loved wearing both the eyeshadows and lipsticks and will certainly be trying more in the future. 

Claire x


Thursday, 2 April 2015

Read, Eat, Listen, Do #5

Read - The Incarnations.
It's a book I'd seen in Whitcoulls recently and quite fancied the sound of. The main character, Wang, is a taxi driver during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. His soul mate if you will from previous life times has found him and starts writing him letters about their past lives together. I'm only a few chapters in but it's quite addictive reading so far - again it's very different from the kinds of books I normally read but the beautiful cover and references to ancient and recent history really intrigued me.

I've also recently picked up Remix magazine - if you're less of a book person and more of a beauty, fashion and celebrity kind of person this magazine is beautifully presented and has something for everyone. I read it from cover to cover this weekend just gone. Not to mention Kylie Jenner is on the cover - I feel like I should keep her on display. How beautiful is her makeup in this?

Eat - Hummus.
Man I have been getting through masses of this stuff lately. I put it with every snack and lunch time meal - on rice crackers, in sandwiches with chicken and tomato, whatever is a flat surface that can carry a copious amount of this delicious chick pea spread. I love the plain variety with just garlic and lemon - it's also pretty filling and is great for days I'm going to the gym. I love it with olive pitas, shredded chicken and baby tomatoes.

Listen - The Black Keys.
I've only really discovered these guys in the past few months but I'm hooked now. Unfortunately they're no longer coming to New Zealand but they're definitely on my "to see" list. I especially love Brothers out of all their albums - song favourites include She's Long Gone, The Only One and Fever.

Do - Planning.
I can't say exactly for what just yet but it's something that had been in the works for a while and I'm incredibly excited about it. I'll be able to say officially in a few weeks.Something incredibly exciting is on the cards - the biggest change my life will have ever had. I'll definitely be doing a lot of blog posts on this in the weeks to come.

Claire x
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